METHANOL BASE – SAFETY PROCEDURES
Alfa Terminal Szczecin Ltd. comprises methanol base and bulk cargo base.
The methanol base performs transshipment and storage of methanol within relations: vessel – storage containers – railroad tank cars and tank trucks.
The bulk cargo base performs transshipment and storage of bulk cargo such as: coal, coke, minerals, aggregates, urea, inorganic fertilizers, metal ores, scrap, etc. within relations between vessels, storage yards and warehouses, and then goods wagons and trucks.
In accordance with the Minister’s of Economy Decree from April 9, 2002 (Journal of Laws [Dz. U.] No. 58, item 535) because of the volume of stored methanol (methyl alcohol), which is considered a dangerous substance, Alfa Terminal Szczecin Ltd. is a high risk plant in terms of industrial accident.
Alfa Terminal Szczecin has reported to the Voivodeship Chief of the National Fire Service and to the the Voivodeship Inspectorate of Environmental Protection that it is a high risk plant in terms of industrial accident.
The Terminal has elaborated and introduced a Plan for Preventing Accidents and a Report on Safety.
The documents has been accepted by the Voivodeship Inspectorate of Environmental Protection and approved by the Voivodeship Chief of National Fire Service, which demonstrates that the risk of an industrial accident has been reduced to minimum and that the Terminal has an efficient and operational safety system.
Moreover, Operational and Rescue Internal Plan has been introduced in the Terminal.It comprises procedures of rescue action aimed at protection of people and environment from consequences of an accident. The Plan has been submitted to the Voivodeship Headquarters of National Fire Service in Szczecin in order to elaborate Operational and Rescue External Plan. The most important danger during transshipment and storage of methanol is a leak of methanol from storage containers, filler nozzles and technological installation or tanks, and consequently a fire caused by ignition of spilled methanol or explosive burning of gas cloud that emerges as a result of parrying.
The most important danger during transshipment and storage of methanol is a leak of methanol from storage containers, filler nozzles and technological installation or tanks, and consequently a fire caused by ignition of spilled methanol or explosive burning of gas cloud that emerges as a result of parrying.
Methanol is an extremely flammable liquid and mixtures of its vapors and air are explosive. Methanol is a toxic substance. The products of its metabolism in human organism: formaldehyde and formic acid are very harmful for human beings. Formaldehyde affects the optic nerve, which in extremal cases may lead to loss of sight. Formic acid causes serious metabolic acidosis that may lead to coma and death as a result of respiratory center paralysis.
CAUTION: methanol, as a result if its organoleptic properties similar to these of ethyl alcohol such as aspect, smell and taste, present a danger of very serious poisoning in case of accidental consumption.
The Terminal has appropriate means, in the form of monitoring systems, security features, as well as regulations and procedures designed for prevention of accidents and reduction of its consequences.
Alfa Terminal Szczecin Ltd. undertakes the following preventive measures in order to prevent industrial accidents:
- containers and technological installations of the methanol terminal are located in safe distances, required by law, from other industrial constructions, residential areas of Stołczyn district, the Szczecin – Police railroad, Nad Odrą Street, access roads, fire escape routes and emergency routes.
- the zones endangered with explosion of facilities and installations of the methanol base are properly signed.
- all the installations and electric devices in the zones endangered with explosion have been constructed as anti explosive (in EX-proofed version).
- technical measures to prevent uncontrolled methanol leaks:
- sensors and signaling devices of maximum levels that transfer the data to the control system of the installation that prevents an overflow of storage containers
- protection of storage containers from leak by external, steel protective casings which purpose is to be hermetic, emergency container capable of storing maximal volume of methanol stored in the storage container in case of its cracking.
- overpressure and under-pressure air release valves protect from inappropriate alterations of pressure in containers that may lead to its cracking.
- installation of detectors of leaks under the bottom of each storage container and signaling devices in the control room of the methanol base
- installation of detectors and signaling of vapors of methanol around storage containers, technological pump-room and in the section of unloading vessels
- automatic stop valves installed on all technological pipelines that are turned on and monitored by the operating and control system of the terminal.
- system of automatic measuring the volume of methanol loaded to tank wagons and tank trucks.
- system of industrial sewerage in the terminal designed for receiving possible leaks of methanol from storage containers, loading stations of tanks wagons and tank trucks, pump-room of methanol, technological roads and stop yard for tank trucks.
- the transshipment processes are controlled and monitored by an automatic operating and control system. State of valves, indications of sensors and meters of temperature, pressure, level of methanol in containers and efficiency of transshipment are being controlled.
- installation of CCTV allows constant observation of trouble areas of the base of methanol such as: quay, railway sidings, storage containers, transshipment stations
- installation of nitrogen reduces explosive concentration of vapors of methanol in storage containers
- permanent and automatically controlled foam-water extinguishing installation in the base of methanol, with its efficiency of 1400 m³ph is able to effectively extinguish all the installations and facilities of the base. Fire Safety Installation consist of:
- fire safety pump-room of water from the Oder River
- fire safety tower on the quay with water-foam cannons to extinguish fires on vessels
- permanent water-mist and foam extinguishing installations on storage containers
- water-foam cannons to extinguish fires in loading stations of railroad tank wagons and tank trucks, technological pump-room and control room
- hydrant installation in the methanol base
- Regulations and procedures:
- The fire and technological safety system comprises cyclical overhauls, maintenance and functional checks of installations and technological and fire safety facilities, as well as control and measurement instruments according to the established schedule of overhauls and maintenance with documentation in the form of checklists.
- Periodic examinations of containers, installations and facilities carried out by the Transport Technical Supervision
- Cyclical trainings of the staff and the employees of cooperating companies
- Security within the area and the facilities of the terminal provided by professional security of people and property firm.
- Internal audit
- Simulations of Operational and Rescue Internal Plan in order to determine existing dangers and to check the procedures of carrying out rescue action aimed at protection of people and environment form consequences of an accident in the area of the terminal, and indication of measures to this end and methods of proceedings after an accident.
An additional element that significantly increases the safety of Alfa Terminal Szczecin is the Fire and Rescue Unit No. 4 of National Fire Service which is located next to the entrance gate of the Terminal.
Alfa Terminal Szczecin permanently cooperates with FRU No. 4 of NFS in organization of fire and rescue trainings.
There is an alarming and proceeding regulation established in Alfa Terminal Szczecin Ltd. in case of a serious accident. In case of:
- a serious industrial accident presenting an immediate danger to people and environment, i.e. big leak, fire or explosion of methanol during transshipment, storage or transport
- a natural disaster, i.e. an occurrence related to acts of nature, especially lightnings, strong winds, intensive precipitations, wildfires, floods, etc.
Each employee of Alfa Terminal Szczecin Ltd. who notices such an occurrence is obliged to report to:
- Direct superior ( → control operator → terminal manager)
- Fellow workers and other persons present near endangered zone.
- National Fire Service – Municipal Headquarters – emergency number 998 or 112
- Ambulance Service – tel: 999 (in case of casualties or danger to health and life of people)
- Management Board of Alfa Terminal Szczecin Ltd.
In case of a fire of vessel carrying methanol, the terminal manager or, if absent, the operator reports additionally to:
- Captain Office of the Szczecin-Świnoujście Port (24h tel: 091/ 433 06 97)
- Rescue Service of the Port (24h tel: 091 / 430 82 55)
In case of a serious industrial accident (leak of methanol to environment, fire, explosion) the manager of the Terminal or, if absent, the operator reports to:
- Voivodeship Center of Emergency Management in Szczecin (24h tel: 091 / 430 33 42):
- Voivodeship Inspectorate of Environmental Protection in Szczecin (tel: 091 / 48 59 500 or 24h tel: 0508 020 230):
- Terminal Security Service (tel: 091 / 42 47 891 or 24h tel: 0601 75 73 78)
The procedure in case of emergency situation:
- Each employee of Alfa Terminal Szczecin Ltd. is obliged to:
- obey the instructions of his/her superiors
- switch off operated technological devices and power
- give necessary aid and proceed to evacuation of people from endangered zone
- take fire-fighting action by means of permanent extinguishing installation and fire-fighting equipment located in the area of the terminal and, in the first place, immediately alert National Fire Service
- provide information and help to fire brigades and other rescue teams (ambulance service, police, Rescue Service of the Port, municipal police, etc.)
- prevent flow of unauthorized persons into endangered zone
- The most senior supervising employee of Alfa Terminal Szczecin present at the place of accident is in charge of rescue action until units of NFS come.
- When units of NFS come to the place of accident, the command of rescue and fire-fighting action is transfered to the NFS unit commander, whose decisions have to be obeyed.